it is them and not us." for once in a lifetime, it is about white people and it's not about black people. >> narrator: around the country, in gay communities like san francisco's castro district, word spread about the mysterious killer disease. but on the other side of the bay, in oakland, it was a different story. >> that bridge really is a divider. they are literally two different worlds. when a black person would go to the door of the white gay clubs in san francisco back in the '80s and '90s, we would be asked for two, three, four pieces of id before we could get in. we weren't considered a hot spot. it was san francisco. even though we were burning, too. >> all i can say about the difference in the early '80s from san francisco and oakland is that it was silence. while in san francisco they were acting up, literally, and talking about hiv, over in oakland it was silence and fear. >> we sit in oakland across the bay from san francisco. san francisco is known around the world as a gay community. san francisco is 4% african american. oakland, on the other hand, is 45% african american.